The Overwhelms

I had an incredible weekend at Interlochen College of Creative Arts teaching my Deep Revision course. My gears are still turning, meantime, here are some stunning shots from peak fall in Northern Michigan. It was a gift to be there among such bright, open minds and deep thinkers.


Despite the invigoration of being at Interlochen and teaching, I somehow came down with a major case of “the overwhelms.” The good news? I can say with confidence that I love everything I do for my Writer at Large business as well as my creative work as a writer (and of course, this includes the areas where those two aspects overlap). The tough news? As meticulously as I plan my schedule and work hard at being my own boss, there’s no way to “get back” those hours I lose to travel. This means that the “one trip per month” rule I’ve instituted is helpful insofar as it keeps me from overkill, but not helpful in that I still haven’t figured out “where the extra hours” are going to come from when I hit the road (or the friendly skies, as the case may be). With a public event and travel booked once a month now through August of 2016 (excluding December), that leaves me a bit concerned.
The solution? Time to take it down a notch this week and sketch more, read more, drink more tea, and be kinder to myself even as the “to do’s” stack up. I won’t find a solution in a harried state and, while I’m not completely harried yet, the threat is real. Without a bit of reflection and a clearer path forward, I won’t be doing my best work.
I have the pleasure of working with many different writers on projects across the United States (and one shout-out to Canada!). I won’t settle for anything less than my best work because the cost is simply too high. With other writers’ creative efforts and heartfelt projects on the line, the only solution is to look within and take care of myself, then come up for air with a different dynamic so I can keep doing my best.
I’m always glad to catch myself before things go “too far,” but it’s likewise a good reality check and reminder that I will be my own boss for the rest of my life. I’ve got get better at it—though I’m in no way disappointed in what I’ve learned and done so far. Being my own boss and the only employee at the same time means keeping the eye on the big picture while also getting the day-to-day done with levity and joy. Most days, I can do that.
Here’s to levity and joy—more of both, please, as we twirl downward into this lovely season of fall and early winter.

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